Storm Jocelyn: Are Flights, Trains And Ferries Affected By The Extreme Weather?

Hundreds of trains and planes were cancelled after the latest in a wave of winter storms lashed Britain and Ireland.

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Extreme weather events have been causing travel chaos across Europe this winter.

Icy conditions mean flights are cancelled or delayed over fears of slipping on runways.

Strong winds force rail operators to bring in speed limits or cancel services and can also cause disruption by downing power lines.

Heavy rain and flood alerts can also affect transport systems.

Here is all the latest weather-related travel disruption in Europe and everything you need to know about travellers’ rights to compensation.

Winter storms snarl runways and railways in the UK and Ireland

Storm Jocelyn is due to hit the UK on Tuesday triggering weather warnings of strong winds and torrential rain.

Flights have been cancelled to and from London Heathrow airport after the enforcement of air-traffic control restrictions.

Travellers are advised to arrive at airports early and check the status of their flight online. 

In Scotland, rail services have been severely impacted with almost all trains halted from 7 pm on Tuesday evening until Wednesday morning. 

“Given the extraordinary number of incidents caused by the ferocity of Storm Isha, and the likelihood of more damage to our railway as Storm Jocelyn follows so closely behind, we’ve taken the decision to shut down all passenger and freight services from 7 pm tomorrow [23 January],” Network Rail said. 

The group, which operates most of the network in the UK, has imposed speed restrictions on the remaining running services. 

“Lines will remain closed on Wednesday morning until our engineers inspect tracks for damage and fallen trees or debris," it added. 

TransPennine Express, which operates in northern England and southern Scotland, has issued a Do Not Travel notice while Avanti West Coast has warned its trains will not be running across the border between Tuesday evening and Wednesday afternoon.

“The last scheduled service from London Euston to Glasgow Central departs at 3.30 pm and is expected to be extremely busy," the group said.

“The last trains from Glasgow and Edinburgh will leave before 5 pm. Our train service to and from Scotland is expected to resume no earlier than 12 noon on 24 January."

Hundreds of trains were also cancelled on Monday after Storm Isha lashed Britain and Ireland.

Network Rail, imposed a 50mph (80kph) speed limit across almost all routes.

In Scotland, train services were halted on Sunday night and throughout most of Monday morning.

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Heathrow, London City and Gatwick airports were also by the stormy conditions with around 100 cancelled flights.

Dublin Airport said the extreme weather was posing “a significant challenge” to flight operations.

On Sunday, the travel hub cancelled 114 flights and diverted 36 to other airports. One arrival from Lanzarote was forced to re-route to Bordeaux.

Storm Isha brought heavy rain and wind gusts of almost 100 miles (160 kilometres) an hour resulting in the death of one motorist and leaving tens of thousands of people without electricity.

The storm uprooted beech trees in Northern Ireland made famous by the Game of Thrones series and littered roadsides and rail tracks across the country with branches.

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Now, Storm Jocelyn is set to unleash more heavy rain and strong winds in the coming days.

Ireland and the UK have been hammered since autumn by a series of gusty and wet storms that have knocked out power and caused flooding along river valleys.

Isha is the ninth named storm since September and Jocelyn, named by the Irish forecaster Met Eireann, will become the 10th.

What are travellers’ rights when flights are cancelled?

When flights are disrupted due to extreme weather, passengers are often entitled to financial compensation.

Travellers whose flights are cancelled or delayed for more than five hours can request a full refund or rebooking on an alternative flight.

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If you choose the latter option - or your flight is delayed - the airline must provide you with the following while you wait at the airport:

  • A reasonable amount of food and drink (often provided in the form of vouchers)
  • A means for you to communicate (often by refunding the cost of your calls)
  • Accommodation, if you are re-routed the next day (usually in a nearby hotel)
  • Transport to and from the accommodation (or your home, if you are able to return there)

The airline needs to supply you with these items until it is able to fly you to your destination, no matter how long the delay lasts or what has caused it.

“If you are still waiting to come home, airlines have a responsibility to look after you while you wait,” explains Rob Bishton, Joint-Interim Chief Executive of the UK Civil Aviation Authority.

“This means providing you with meals, refreshments and hotel accommodation. If airlines cannot do this, you can organise your own meals and accommodation then claim costs back.”

Full details of compensation rights can be found on the Citizens Advice site.

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What are travellers’ rights when trains are cancelled?

When train journeys are cancelled, passengers are entitled to a full refund if they can't take the next train or decide not to travel.

If you’re delayed and arrive at your destination more than half an hour late, you’ll normally be able to claim some money back - just make sure you keep your ticket.

How much you can get back depends on which train company you were travelling with when you were delayed. If the operator is part of the ‘Delay Repay’ scheme, you are entitled to compensation - no matter why your train was delayed - of:

  • 50 per cent of your ticket price if you get to your destination between 30 minutes and an hour late
  • a full refund if you arrive more than 1 hour late

If your operator does not offer Delay Repay the conditions differ. If the cause of the delay was not the train company’s fault - for example bad weather - you won’t receive compensation.

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